Employee Voices

Pride Puts Diversity in Action

Two members share how McKesson’s Pride employee resource group has enhanced their leadership skills and provided opportunities to reach more people.

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June is Pride Month, an important time to celebrate members of the LGBTQIA+ community who strengthen our society. With a focus on allyship and inclusion for all, our Pride employee resource group (ERG) is honoring the trailblazers and innovators within this community through the theme “Diversity in Action.”

To learn more about Pride’s ongoing efforts, we asked two ERG board members to share how their involvement has shaped both their personal and professional lives.

James Ghee has held various roles over his six years at McKesson and currently serves as a customer experience analyst for global procurement. James currently serves as the Northeast Board Chair for the Pride ERG and aims to make a difference in the lives of those around him.

 

Shadow Danielsen has been with McKesson for two years and currently serves as a talent sourcing partner on the talent acquisition team. Shadow helped launch and now co-chairs the Pride ERG virtual district for employees who do not have access to one of McKesson’s hub locations.

 

What inspired you to join Pride and get involved?

James: My upbringing was rooted within a highly diverse community where I was exposed to a wide spectrum of human experiences. The narratives I have encountered inspired a desire to drive positive change and address societal paradigms.

I joined Pride because I wanted to be a voice for the LGBTQIA+ community and serve as an advocate for those who identify with diverse backgrounds. I wanted to make a difference in the culture and serve as a liaison between senior leaders and employees. I’ve seen continuous advancement in inclusion and belonging over the past six years, and I want to help continue moving the needle. 

Shadow: One of my teammates reached out to me because Pride was starting a virtual chapter. They were looking for board members and asked if I was interested, and I said absolutely. As a remote employee, I felt that this was exactly what we needed in our current work environment to provide opportunities for employees to connect.

What does Pride Month mean to you?

James: Pride is a celebration and a platform for individuals to come together, share experiences and find a sense of community and belonging. It allows people to express themselves authentically and embrace their identity without fear of judgment or discrimination. Pride Month is a time for individuals to honor and celebrate their personal journey and recognize and support the LGBTQIA+ community. It serves as a reminder of the ongoing fight for equality and acceptance.

Shadow: As a non-binary person, Pride Month holds a lot of significance for me. It's a time when I can celebrate my identity and feel a strong sense of belonging within the LGBTQIA+ community. I can unapologetically express myself, wear what makes me feel comfortable and connect with others who understand and share similar experiences.

Pride Month is also an opportunity to reflect on the political and social fight for equal rights and acceptance. As a transgender person, I often find that I’m overwhelmed by the news of new bills coming out and laws being passed trying to negate our humanity. Pride Month serves as a reminder of the progress we have made so far, and that we are worthy of dignity and the same rights as cishet individuals.

What is your favorite experience that you’ve had with Pride?

James: Last year, we partnered with Habitat for Humanity and helped build a home in Richmond, Va. We had the privilege of working side by side, nailing, sawing, installing vinyl siding, and creating a beautiful front porch for a deserving family. It was a truly transformative experience, as we witnessed the power of unity and collaboration in achieving a common goal. This experience allowed us to make a tangible difference in others' lives and strengthened our sense of camaraderie and purpose within our ERG. We received a thank you card from the family, and that was a special moment because we saw how much of a difference we made in their lives.

In what ways has Pride helped you develop and advance in your career? 

Shadow: Pride has allowed me to connect with people around me who are succeeding and thriving in their careers. Being involved in the ERG provides exposure to leaders who inspire you – you can learn about their career journeys and then make informed decisions about your own career path.

James: My goal is to be a leader at McKesson, and working with Pride has taught me so many leadership skills. I have learned how to approach situations from a different perspective, and I truly want everyone to succeed in their careers. The ERG has prepared me to become the leader that I desire to be.

How has Pride’s virtual chapter helped bring employees together?

Shadow: Launching a virtual chapter has allowed us to reach employees who are not able to participate if they don’t live near a hub location. The virtual board members represent different aspects of the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as how we identify in a number of ways. Race, gender and sexual identity were important elements for us as co-chairs of the virtual region to help ensure a diverse representation.

We create events where anyone can participate, and we’ve seen a great response to these events. It allows employees to feel more included and make connections with other ERG members. The first event the virtual region hosted was on parenting in our community. There were a variety of backgrounds and opinions that presented a well-rounded discussion.

What role does allyship play in Pride?

James: You don’t have to identify as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community to join Pride. The ERG is available to everyone, and allies play an important role. There are so many opportunities for all to get involved and learn about the community in a different capacity, which is important for personal growth.

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